Social Media Videos
27 Jun

Did you press the record button holding your phone vertical or horizontally? Perhaps you’re one of the many others of us, that have moved mobile web browsing ahead of desktop browsing. I just found out that desktop browsing accounts for 43% of online activity and smartphone and tablet browsing is now ahead at 57% And that’s a pretty important thing to know if you’re using social media to tell everyone about you because the chances are that they’re looking on a smartphone. Which now means when I’m taking a picture or video to post in my social media feeds, I’m thinking about the best way to take it.

Here’s what I found out, this might be as useful to you as it was for me.


For YouTube, you definitely want to hold your phone horizontally. There’s just no arguing with that. If you’re watching a vertical video on a computer, there will be ugly black bars on either side of vertical videos. Although YouTube’s mobile app does allow for vertical playback that takes up the whole screen.


For Instagram, you absolutely need to hold your camera vertically when taking video with the Instagram app. Instagram has been all about the square. Even when it began allowing users to add video, it was square. Now they’ve finally decided to think outside the box. So you can also upload either vertical or horizontal, they’ll just be cropped.


Uploading your own videos to Facebook is similar to YouTube. Vertical videos will actually play vertically, full screen, if you’re watching on a phone while holding the phone vertically. But on Facebook Live, when you click on “go live” on the Facebook app, if your phone is horizontal, you’ll get a giant hint to turn it vertically. The keyboard, for naming your live video event, will only show vertically.


When using the Twitter app to take video, you absolutely need to hold your phone vertically, or else your video will post sideways. However, there is one difference from Instagram. If you upload your own videos, vertical ones will be cropped square, but horizontal ones will show in their full width.


Snapchat is meant to be used vertically. Period, end of story. Snapchat is specifically designed for vertical consumption. We’ve been hearing about “the rise of” vertical video for more than a year, with Snapchat leading the charge.


Smartphones have got increasingly popular, giving people around the world accessible videography equipment. Resulting in a swelling wave of the vertical video. With social media users digesting more mobile-specific content than ever before, advertisers are optimising their content by adding vertical videos into their repertoire. More websites are now loaded on smartphones and tablets than on desktop computers, a milestone that underlines how computing is rapidly shifting to mobile devices. Back in the day, everybody shot videos horizontally. While vertical won’t completely replace horizontal video, being heard in an increasingly relevant way means more reach and exposure opportunities for you.

Today video is not just widescreen; it’s square, it’s portrait, it’s 3D, it’s virtual reality and also 360 degrees. As I’ve found out that there’s not just one way to make video content anymore. So, which way are you choosing to turn your camera? Let me know! And share the knowledge. I hope these tips have been of some use to you. They might come in handy some day.

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